Gary Richards (music executive)

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Gary Richards
Destructo at HARD Summer 2013 in Los Angeles, CA
Background information
Also known asDestructo
Born (1970-12-31) December 31, 1970 (age 48)
Washington, D.C., United States
GenresElectronic, Ghetto house, Tech house, Electro house
Occupation(s)Music executive, DJ
Years active1991–present
LabelsInterscope Records, Boysnoize Records, OWSLA, HITS HARD

Gary Richards (born December 31, 1970), known by his stage name Destructo, is an American music executive, concert promoter, and DJ. As of September 1, 2017 he is the President of LiveStyle, North America. Prior to joining LiveStyle, he was the founder and CEO of HARD Events,[1] a concert brand that has put on popular music festivals since 2007, and which was acquired in 2012 by Live Nation Entertainment.[2] He has performed professionally as a DJ under the name Destructo [3] for more than 20 years, having toured around the world. He is credited with being a leader in the Electronic music business in North America, and through his events, has helped bring artists like Deadmau5 and Justice into the mainstream.[4][5] Richards is included on Rolling Stone's "50 Most Important People in EDM"[6] list, Billboard's "EDM Power Players" lists from 2014 - 2017,[7][8] and inthemix's list of the "50 Most Powerful People in EDM".[9] As Destructo, he has released four EP's titled Technology,[10] Higher,[11]West Coast,[12] and RENEGADE respectively.

Early life[edit]

Richards was born in Washington, D.C., growing up in the music industry with a father, who worked in radio and concert promotion.[13] By age 10, living in Potomac, MD he was already attending concerts with his father, Barry "Reazar" Richards- by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper. His family moved to New Orleans, LA, and then to Myrtle Beach, SC, where he worked as an on-air Radio Personality. The family then moved to Los Angeles, CA, where by age 18 he was booking his first shows and performing as a DJ.


Concert promotion and A&R[edit]

Entranced by the early 1990s warehouse scene, Richards hosted a weekly event of his own called "The Sermon"[14] and helped bring attention to many L.A. nightlife hotspots including The Standard Hotel - Downtown. He organized his first major music event titled "Magical Mickey's Holy Water Adventure" at Wild Rivers (water park) in Irvine, CA in 1991.[15] For the next two years, Richards produced monthly events including what would become the first two "Electric Daisy Carnivals" in 1991 and 1992.[16][17] After being asked by promoter Pasquale Rotella to use the name "Electric Daisy Carnival" for a series of concert festivals that he was producing, Richards granted him permission to do so in 1997.[18] The Electric Daisy Carnival or "EDC" is now arguably the largest electronic music festival in North America.[19] He followed "Electric Daisy Carnival" with presenting "RaveAmerica" at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA on New Year's Eve, 1993.[20] Developing a reputation in the music industry as having a good ear for music and launching new artists with his events, Gary Richards was handpicked by Rick Rubin to handle A&R duties for the Electronic music division at Def American Recordings,[21] where signed and developed Lords of Acid, XL Recordings, Messiah, Digital Orgasm, Harthouse Records and God Lives Underwater.[22] He went on to establish his own record labels Nitrus Records and 1500 Records[23][24] which released music from Kill The Noise, Whitey, David Holmes, Überzone, Dub Pistols, Ugly Duckling, the critically acclaimed Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses, and the original motion picture soundtrack for 15 Minutes.


In the mid 1990s, Gary Richards began performing as a DJ under the name Destructo.[25] He is quoted as saying that the Destructo name derives from "My goal to play the hardest and most gnarly techno out there. I'd blow up the sound system and the mixer at clubs if I could. I wasn't only into Kraftwerk and Daft Punk; I loved Metallica and Black Sabbath as well. So when I performed, it was aggressive and had to be banging." He has released remixes for Warren G, Depeche Mode, Major Lazer, YG, White Zombie, Digitalism, and others. In 2012 he released his debut EP titled Technology.[26] He has performed around the world for more than a decade, sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in Electronic music. Destructo's second EP titled Higher was released on June 10, 2013 via OWSLA/Boysnoize Records and features remixes by Tommy Trash and Brodinski. The music video for the EP's title track was directed by Agata Alexander.[27] On November 24, 2014, Destructo released the West Coast EP on Interscope Records which featured appearances by YG, Problem, Ty Dolla Sign, Kurupt, Too Short, and Warren G. This release took the precision-guided producer in the realm of G-house (where rap melds with house music) introducing his singular solo style.[28][29] His fourth EP RENEGADE was released on March 31, 2017 on his label HITS HARD. It features collaborations with E-40 and Too $hort, Ty Dolla $ign & iLoveMakonnen Pusha T & Starrah, Problem and Freddie Gibs. Starting 2018 off strong, Destructo hit the road on his “Let’s Be Friends” Tour. The bassline aficionado kicked off his tour on Friday, January 19 at the Output in Brooklyn, NY and continued his tour with 15 more dates in major cities across North America. Supporting Destructo were his friends Fisher, Habstrakt, Walker & Royce, Will Clarke, Deux, Dillon Nathaniel, Gerry Gonza, Golf Clap.

HARD Events[edit]

As the music industry continued to change at the turn of the century, Richards returned to his roots as a concert promoter, launching the very first HARD Events festival in 2007.[30] The festival's success soon lead Gary Richards and HARD Events to become a major player in EDM concert promotion,[31] and by 2010, the company was hosting 3 major music festivals, as well as numerous club and theater shows across the United States.[32][33] It is estimated that HARD Events draw a cumulative audience of more than 100,000 people per year to its events. In 2016, HARD Summer drew as many as 150,000 attendees to its two day festival.[34] Past performers at HARD Events festivals include Deadmau5, Skrillex, Underworld, Diplo, M.I.A., Justice, A-Trak, Steve Aoki, Busy P, Boys Noize, N.E.R.D., Crystal Castles, Digitalism, and many more.[35] In 2012, HARD Events was acquired by Live Nation Entertainment with the intent of expanding its music events into new international markets.


On September 5, 2017 Randy Phillips, President/CEO of LiveStyle, Inc. announced that Gary Richards has joined the company as President of LiveStyle North America. In this newly created position at LiveStyle, Richards is responsible for working with all of LiveStyle’s current U.S. festival operations, developing and launching new brands and activities on the West Coast. North American key operating entities for the company include Made Event, React Presents, Disco Donnie Presents, Life in Color, and MMG, along with festivals and brands such as Electric Zoo, Spring Awakening, TomorrowWorld, Sensation, and Life in Color. Phillips commented, “When Chuck Ciongoli and I took over the former SFX, the global leader in electronic music festivals and the parent company of Beatport, we rebranded it LiveStyle to signal that a new vibrant business was emerging debt-free with some of the greatest assets in the live entertainment industry. To complete our executive suite, we wanted to bring some real authenticity to the management of LiveStyle, and no single candidate to be the President of North America fulfills this role better than Gary Richards, of HARD and Holy Ship fame. In fact, this is a delayed goal for me since I tried to make a deal with Gary 10 years ago while I was running AEG Live. Not only is he an accomplished working DJ (DJ Destructo), he is a very astute businessman with an affinity to his fellow artists. With Gary on board, LiveStyle is prepared for creative and strategic growth in the years ahead.”


Title Album details
F**king S**t Up
  • Released: 2018
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: Destructo & Busta Rhymes
Shots to the Dome
  • Released: 2018
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: Destructo & Gerry Gonza
  • Released: 2017
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: Destructo - feat. Yo Gotti
  • Released: 2017
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: Destructo
All Nite Remixes
  • Released: 2017
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: Destructo - feat. E40 & Too $hort
Renegade EP
  • Released: 2017
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: Destructo
Catching Plays
  • Released: 2016
  • Label: Hits HARD
  • Artist: DDestructo x Wax Motif - feat. Pusha T & Starch
  • Released: 2016
  • Label: Bunny Tiger
  • Artist: Destructo
Beat Down
  • Released: 2016
  • Label: Night Bass
  • Artist: Destructo x Wax Motif - feat. Vanilla Ace
  • Released: 2015
  • Label: Night Bass
  • Artist: Destructo
West Coast EP

Select remixes[edit]

Year Artist Album Details
2015 Carmada On Fire (Destructo & Bot remix) Producer, Remixer
Sharam Jey, Sammy W & Alex E SWAG! (Destructo & Bot remix) Producer, Remixer
Warren G feat. Nate Dogg Regulate (Destructo & Wax Motif remix) Producer, Remixer
2014 YG "My N***A" (Destructo & Wax Motif remix) Producer, Remixer
Henry Fong "Stand Up" (Destructo remix) Producer, Remixer
2013 Giorgio Moroder "Chase" (Destructo re-edit) Producer, Remixer
Depeche Mode Soothe My Soul (Destructo remix) Producer, Remixer
2012 Rob Zombie Thunder Kiss '65 (Destructo remix) Producer, Remixer
Strip Steve Astral (Destructo remix - Boys Noize edit) Producer, Remixer
2011 Digitalism Reeperbahn (Destructo remix) Producer, Remixer
2010 Major Lazer Bruk Out (Destructo/Uberzone remix) Producer, Remixer
2009 Rick James Super Freak (Destructo remix) Producer, Remixer


  1. ^ Roberts, Randall (2012-06-27). "Live Nation adds Los Angeles' Hard Events to its playlist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  2. ^ Rys, Dan (2012-06-27). "Live Nation Purchases Gary Richards'HARD Events". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  3. ^ Salamat, Neda (2011-10-24). "Destructo aka Gary Richards: 'Steve Aoki Was Like, Why Don't You Call it Hard On? Like, I Got a Hard On for LA'". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  4. ^ "Gary Richards, Power Player". 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  5. ^ "Gary Richards Was an EDM Hustler Long Before He Started HARD [UPDATED W/ Info About HARD Stage at EDC]". OC Weekly. 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  6. ^ Castillo, Arielle (2014-03-17). "50 Most Important People in EDM". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  7. ^ Billboard Staff (2014-07-01). "EDM Power Players: The Executives". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  8. ^ Billboard Staff (2015-06-12). "Billboard's Top 30 EDM Power Players List Revealed: Who Rules Dance Music?". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  9. ^ ITM HQ (2013-03-25). "The 50 Most Powerful People In EDM 2013". Sound Alliance. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  10. ^ Florino, Rick (2012-07-31). "Destructo Talks "LA Funky" Featuring Oliver in Exclusive Video Interview". Artistdirect. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  11. ^ Rolling Stone (2013-05-30). "Higher (Tommy Trash Remix)' by Destructo". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  12. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (2014-11-24). "Stream Destructo's "West Coast" EP". Complex. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  13. ^ Jonathan (2012-07-25). "Interview: Gary Richards, on his not-so-'Hard' luck, ignoring his dad's advice about techno music and whom he wants a photo with at Hard Summer". Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  14. ^ Josh (2012-08-25). "Artist Interview: Destructo". Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  15. ^ "DJ Destructo Archives". 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  16. ^ Buerger, Megan (2015-02-17). "Corner Office: Hard Events CEO Gary Richards on Life as an EDM Titan and Why TV 'Doesn't Matter' to Dance Music". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  17. ^ Sherburne, Philip (2012-06-27). "Live Nation Acquires L.A. EDM Promoter HARD: Will the Mainstream Get More Ravey?". Spin Media. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  18. ^ Joseph (2013-08-02). "Gary Richards and the History of HARD". Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  19. ^ Taylor, Ken (2013-02-20). "The 20 most-anticipated dance-music festivals of 2013". Beatport. Archived from the original on 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  20. ^ Ching, Albert (2009-07-15). "Orange County Rave Scene History Lesson". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  21. ^ Hochman, Steve (1997-08-16). "They're Ready and Raving to Put Techno Label on the Map". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  22. ^ Pratt, Mark (2012-01-05). "Hard's Gary Richards on Holy Ship! Electronic Music Cruise January 6 to 9". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  23. ^ Romero, Dennis (2009-10-09). "Interview: Promoter Gary Richards, Organizer of This Weekend's Hard Party at Terminal 5". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  24. ^ Donahue, Ann (2000-07-10). " collects 1500 Records". Variety. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  25. ^ Polonsky, Sarah (2012-09-12). "Gary Richards (DJ DESTRUCTO) Joins VIBE Social Media Week LA!". Vibe (magazine). Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  26. ^ Switlicki, Lukas (2012-05-08). "Destructo HARD Fest founder talks Business and Technology". Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  27. ^ Thump Staff (2013-06-25). "Destructo - "Higher" [THUMP Exclusive]". Vice/Thump. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  28. ^ Weiss, Jeff (2015-02-11). "Gary Richards, CEO of HARD, Also Rules the Decks as Destructo". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  29. ^ Music News Desk (2014-10-29). "DESTRUCTO Debuts Music Video for 'Dare You 2 Move' Featuring Problem". Broadway Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  30. ^ "HARD SUMMER Music Festival 2012". 2012-08-03. Archived from the original on 2013-04-13. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  31. ^ Mason, Kerri (2012-02-03). "Dance Music's Most Influential Executives". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  32. ^ Buerger, Megan (2012-11-02). "Gary Richards of HARD Events on the Future of EDM and Coachella's copycat cruise". Paper (magazine). Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  33. ^ Baltin, Steve (2011-12-14). "Trent Reznor Taps HARD Promoter For 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Events". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  34. ^ Romero, Dennis (2009-11-02). "Gatecrashers Hit Halloween Dance Parties: Nearly 100,000 Attend, About 50 Arrests Made". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  35. ^ Baron, Zach (2010-09-13). "HARD Fest on M.I.A.'s Free New York Show: "We Don't Really Want to Be Involved"". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-18.

External links[edit]